One day after dropping a 2-1 decision at D-B, the Trailblazers (1-1, 1-1) turned the tables on the Indians (1-1, 1-1) by scoring an unearned run in the bottom of the seventh inning for a 1-0 win.
“After (Monday’s) tough loss, we knew in the overall scheme of things in the conference race that tonight was really important for us if we’re to reach the goals I know these guys want to reach,” said 14-year Boone coach Rob Hoover.
Pinch-runner Preston Miller scored the winning run, hustling home from second base on a one-out, infield throwing error.
Miller was running for Chase Chandler, who’d drawn a one-out walk from hard-luck southpaw Brogan Beckner, a Virginia Tech signee. K.C. Vicchio had followed with a single to right, leaving runners at first and second with one out.
With the winning run in scoring position, Anthony Edwards laced a liner off the follow-through foot of Beckner, and the ball landed in no man’s land between the mound and D-B’s charging second baseman, who scooped it barehanded but threw wildly past first base for the game’s only error.
“I told the guys that these two arms we faced in our first two games, (Jackson) McDavid last night and Beckner tonight, are two of the best arms we’ll see back to back all year,” Hoover said. “So for us to hang in there and find a way to get a run in there, well, I’m awfully proud of them. And I’m proud of our pitching staff for kind of sticking with it, too.”
Beckner went the distance, allowing three hits — including two infield singles — and striking out 11. He walked three.
Chandler picked up the win after relieving starter Hunter Adams to start the seventh and retiring the Indians in order.
Adams escaped a first-and-second, one-out jam in the sixth by striking out two straight. He went six innings, allowing both D-B hits and fanning seven.
“Pitching is about changing speeds and locating your fastball, and Hunter did a really, really good job of that tonight,” Hoover said. “And Chase came in a tough situation, a tight game, and it didn’t faze him one bit.
“Our defense was really good, too. Colby Backus made some great plays out in right field that kind of saved us at times.”
The Tribe, with just its two base hits, missed a couple of scoring opportunities. In addition to the sixth, D-B also failed to score after getting runners on first and second with nobody out in the fourth.
“We didn’t get a bunt down there and then we hit a ball deep to right-center that should have scored a run for us (if a successful bunt had moved the runners up),” said veteran D-B coach Ryan Wagner. “Our approaches at the plate are not the best right now, but hopefully that’ll come.
“I know that Brogan threw a great game — outstanding — and that he deserved to win this game. But we didn’t get some things done offensively in some big situations a couple times in the game, and in the end it cost us.”